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Freelance entertainment writer, martial arts instructor, and mother of two.

American Idol 10, Feb. 9 – Going Out With a Bang


Julie sings Summertime, and it’s definitely good, but it’s hard to hear others sing this song after Fantasia sang it. She just has such a defining version of it. Steven calls her fabulous with great range and a great star quality. He likes her shoes too. J-Lo liked the way she was planted in the ground, confident and a performer. Randy loved it, as he hasn’t heard it since Fantasia blew it out of the box, and he didn’t ever want to hear it sung by anyone else, but he thought Julie made interesting choices with the notes. She gets three yeses.

Steven thinks Dave Combs, 25, in electronic retail in San Francisco, is representing with his long blonde hair, and he responds real men have long hair. Randy asks if he’s ready to get it, and he is. He sings Oh Darlin’, and he has some good tone, but he can’t seem to find the melody. Steven thought he was going to represent, telling Dave he was so off the melody, it was like he was on another planet. He asks for another shot, but doesn’t get it. J-Lo admonishes Steven, telling Dave he got Steven angry, something they haven’t seen.

Rick Deschamp, 23, a cashier from Santa Cruz, CA, struggles even more, although he looks the part dressed in all black, including a hat. Steven asks if he hit his head on the way in. Another long-haired rocker takes a stab at it. David Johnston, 24, a musician/preacher from Chino Hills, CA. He sings Stand By Me, and Steven, with a Beatles shirt, facetiously tells him he sounded just like them and is in. Sabrina Corbett, 26, a student from San Francisco, wears a uniform resembling a cop. She sings Shut Up and Drive, and Steven tells her she should be arrested for that voice. He asks if she has handcuffs.

Emily Anne Reed, 26, a barista originally from Arlington, VA, now living in California, came here because her dad told her when you spread your wings, you have to go far. Last week at work, she got a call saying her house was on fire. She lost a lot of things, but worst of all lost the first home she was excited about. American Idol could change her life by giving her what she always wanted.

Singing You’re Getting to Be a Habit With Me, Emily Anne has a younger tone to herself, but sounds unique. J-Lo seems to agree, saying she has the most interesting voice they’ve heard in any city. Steven loves her old-time voice, but he notes her melody leaves a lot to be desired. He says no. Randy agrees more with J-Lo and says yes. J-Lo thinks she has more of a singer/songwriter vibe, and votes yes to Hollywood. She’s in. Steven asks her to play her guitar for him, and the guitar makes all the difference. J-Lo pronounces herself right, saying she’s going home, as if to say her job is done after this great find.

The last audition of season 10 belongs to James Durbin, 21, unemployed from Santa Cruz, CA. His mom raised him and his sisters. His dad, a bass musician, died from a drug O.D. when he was 9. People have said he gets his musical talent from him. He was on medication for a sleep disorder, then was diagnosed with Tourette’s and Aspberger’s. People always told him to stop, but he couldn’t and felt so lost. He met an angel at a bar, and she’s changed his life. They now have a son, who he says has changed their life. They do what they can to get by.

James is worried about his Tourrette’s in front of the judges. He’s very reminiscent of Adam Lambert. He has that powerful of a voice, as he sings You Shook Me. J-Lo asks if he feels light-headed because he threw out a note that had absolutely everything in it. He asks Steven’s permission to sing one of his songs, and launches into Dream On, while his wife cries about how much he wants it.

James is just flat out amazing. It’s my third time having chills this seaosn. Randy tells him it was hot, and J-Lo notes he goes away when he sings. He explains his health, and says it all goes away when he sings. Randy talks about his range, saying it’s full voice, and not falsetto which is crazy. Steven calls it over the top and so, so good. J-Lo notes he sings from the heart, from a place to make others feel. That’s all he wants to do. He’s in.

What a way to end these auditions. If Hollywood goes half as good as this audition, it’ll be a good season. If it goes as well as this audition, it’s going to be fantastic.

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